Building Retail App vs Off-The-Shelf Retail App: Which One is Best for Your Business?

Custom or Shelf Made Apps: Which is Better for your Business

When Businesses are considering creating or implementing a mobile app, they want to learn about how it will benefit their day to day operations and sales. They are also faced with another decision: should they buy an off-the-shelve app or have a custom app built for their business? This decision may be difficult to make because you must understand what each app is bringing to the table and how it will help evolve your business as a whole. In this Blog Post, we will showcase a few aspects and explain the differences between the two frameworks, so that you can make an informed decision as to which way you need to go for your retail enterprise.

Time to Market

When it comes to the retail app development and marketing for your business, you are going to find that developing a new app will take a long amount of time, requiring a lot of scheduling on your part for meetings, updates and so on. This process could take months, maybe years depending on the type of technology you want to integrate and what processes you want in place. On the other end of the spectrum, an off-the-shelf development can take as little as 30 to 45 days to get it up and running. This allows you to start using your mobile platform quicker, further allowing your consumers to start using the app too. With little ramp-up time, your off the shelf app can start providing results way before your customized app is through its first stage of development!

Cost of Development

Whether you’re developing from scratch or buying off the sheet, the cost will depend on what functional elements you need your app to perform. The building of a new app is often more expensive than the off-the-shelve development option. Don’t get us wrong, just because an off the shelf app is less expensive, there are many platforms out there that offer maximum functionality and customization while offing bang-for-your-buck pricing! Retail application development is very different for each business case, thus some people will pay less while others will pay more.


Every mobile app that a company uses will need maintenance from time to time. When you build a new app, you’re going to find that maintenance will vary depending on what problems arise and what you require this app to do. The maintenance for an Off-The-Shelf app is going to cost less, as there are dedicates staff and personnel behind the platform. So you could either have a dedicated support staff for a custom app that will eventually break your bank, or you could have an Off-The-Shelf app that has a dedicated support staff ready to help you with whatever you need.

Product Upgrades

Can either app type be upgraded? Yes, they both can be. However, building a custom app may require upgrades down the road and this will take a long time to research and develop. It also requires a lot of investment into a built app to get those upgrades developed. For those who get an off the shelve app, they will find that the upgrades are often a part of the package and they are free to use as the developer wants to stay relevant in the field.


When it comes to an app that the business chooses to build, the new app is going to take time to test and everyone will need to be involved from the start to finish. However, with an off the shelf app, the testing has been done for you, and it was done way before you even purchased the app to use for your business.


The support team that comes with each app is widely different from one another. Those who build a new app will have to invest in their own team in order to develop it, test it and handle it from here on out. Those who opt for shelf development will have an account manager that handles their concerns and will speed up any issue that they may have.


Which option is more secure? They are going to find that for those apps that they build themselves, they will have to invest in talent that can help with security and ensure that their infrastructure can handle the app. The off the shelf app has security built in and will not result in an additional investment.


Can either app be customized? Those who build an app will find that they can do whatever they want, though it may cost more in the long run. For off the shelf apps, there are some levels of customization that are out there. For example, with GoFindo, our platform allows for a high level of customization on the UI/UX platform for their retail mobile app development, making the process more streamlined.

Gofindo has worked for years in this industry and has spent a lot of time perfecting and researching to create a state of the art platform. Gofindo’s advanced features such as marketing automation, mobile commerce, in depth analytics, POS, Loyalty Rewards System and more can really help retail enterprises deploy their own customized platforms without having to invest a lot of money and time. The hard work has already been done by the talented Gofindo team.